BANGALORE: My dad and I have a lot in common. We are both quiet bookworms with a small group of friends and prefer silence to small talk. Did I mention my dad was a writer? My mom on the other hand has what you call the gift of the gab. She can strike up conversations with total strangers. She was a teacher. And in their relationship mom is clearly the dominant one. I probably have a lot of the ‘dominant’ teaching genes. I love counselling and advising people. Mom’s personality and mine are so different that teaching never featured in my career choices. Big mistake! I would have pursued a teaching degree instead of journalism if I had known I’d be teaching in my mid-thirties.
Sometimes I think I inherited both writing and teaching genes in equal measure. Both seem to want to dominate my life at one time or another. If I had been privy to this knowledge ten years ago, it would have been easy to chart the course of my career. Both teaching and writing are jobs that give me a good work-life balance. My kids and their lives are equally important to me. I want to be there every day when they get back from school. I want to sit at the kitchen table and feed them home-cooked meals, while they share funny stories about school.
So here I am — a writer, a blogger, a substitute teacher and wannabe yoga teacher! Unofficial jobs? Well, let’s not even go there! So after much deliberation I have arrived at the conclusion that it’s okay to branch out. It’s okay not to follow the beaten (career) path. We as individuals are such dynamic creatures that one career cannot do justice to our many talents. That is probably the reason for such large-scale dissatisfaction in the world as far as careers go. If you have to stick to your job to pay the bills, that’s okay. Pursue other talents as hobbies, or simply volunteer whenever you can. You will be happier and won’t resent your day job so much.
Damayanti Chandrasekhar is a writer